Every year more than 300 million tons of plastic are produced globally and at least eight million tonnes ends up in the sea.
Our King, then Prince of Wales warned of the dangerous effects of plastic pollution during his first major speech on the environment over 50 years ago.
He has been championing the environment for more than 5 decades and his recent speech highlighted the need for urgent action to tackle the scourge of plastic pollution.
Commenting on the issue of pollution (Our Ocean Conference 2022), Charles added: "We have seen unequivocal evidence that plastics are not only polluting our waters but are entering our food chains and our bodies. We are quite literally poisoning ourselves."
Whilst global government measures are essential for driving change, we also need companies and individuals to take action too. The Queen herself clamped down on plastic at the royal palaces - as ever leading by example.
Coin Hunter has designed packaging that uses no plastic and no glue - once current packaging stocks are depleted, as a compamy we have committed to not use any plastic packaging for coins.
We have asked The Royal Mint to comment on plastics used in coin packaging - but have yet to receive any response.
Whilst some may say that one business taking the initiate will make no difference, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II clearly felt everyone should do the right thing for our environment and the future of our children.
It is perhaps the right time to highlight Royal Mint coin packaging - as 150,000 packs like the one shown below have already been produced - one production run for one coin accounting for 375,000g of plastic (outer wrap and blister).
The pack does not need a plastic outer wrap - millions of plastic wrapped Royal Mint coin packs are sold each year.
Reducing packaging is very important and has been embraced by companies around the world – as a small part of what is required to slow down and eventually reverse the damage to our planet.
The food industry is a main contributor to packaging waste – but we have all seen our "throw away packaging" shrink in recent years.
Whilst packaging of food in many cases is necessary from a health and safety perspective, there are big savings in terms of unnecessary packaging that could and should be considered.
Colour printed card used in Royal Mint packaging varies in weight - usually between 30 and 45g.
Each coin pack contains about 2.4g of plastics. (Awaiting recycling information from The Royal Mint).
An amount of glue is used to seal the coin in plastic blister between card. Minimum would be a single seal which here used 0.2g of glue.
The introduction of coin cards in 2014 was a great first step – The Royal Mint allowed official partners who spent enough (about £5 million) on Royal Mint packaged coins – to receive unpackaged coins – as long as they would be placed in approved packaging before being sold.
HM Treasury do have requirements in place to ensure coins struck at a higher standard than circulation are sold in suitable packaging in an attempt to reduce the number that enter circulation.
As The Royal Mint use about 8 times more packaging per coin than The Westminster Collection (based on average packaging weight) – you can see that it's very easy to make a big difference in packaging waste for non-food items.
The Royal Mint packaging does provide relevant information as well as related images – customers paying about twice as much for a 50p coin pack are unlikely to remove the coin and dispose of the colour printed card – although they may remove the outer plastic wrapping (landfill in areas that cannot recycle plastic wrap).
In a survey carried out by Coin Hunter – the vast majority of collectors buying Royal Mint packaged coins will never break the outer plastic seal (as this can reduce future resale value).
In these cases, the wording and images inside the card as well as the obverse of the coin are never seen – effectively wasting the materials and environmental cost of production.
As a responsible company looking to do all we can to minimise waste and reduce our carbon footprint – Coin Hunter Limited would make the following changes to packaging sold by The Royal Mint.
Note: The digital version would also benefit the visually impaired – with zoom and screen read available.
The Royal Mint and HM Treasury have a long history – but both would now benefit from looking forward more often than they look back.
With agreement from HM Treasury – the requirement for wasteful coin packaging could be reduced.
As an example – whilst the coin cards use much less card and plastic and create less CO2 during production – a much larger percentage are thrown away as collectors often remove the coins to place in a coin capsule instead. (Many consider the coin is better protected from toning as packaging and glue used could result in premature discolouration).
Here at Coin Hunter, we estimate that tens of thousands of glue backed cards and plastic blisters end up in the bin or recycling box every year.
This would all stop now if HM Treasury would allow sale of loose BU coins – the seller could then place the coins in small paper envelopes for the customer to choose how they store the coin.
After all – most people won't buy a 50p coin for £5 and then spend it in a shop at face value – and if they really want to waste money in the same way companies produce packaging waste – glue and card would not be an effective deterrent.
The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III 2023 UK 50p Brilliant Uncirculated Coin • Unlimited • £11.00
UK23K50S Add to Basket The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III 2023 UK 50p Silver Proof Coin • 12,500 • £59.50
UK23K50PS Add to BasketThe Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III 2023 UK 50p Silver Proof Piedfort Coin • 3,250 • £110.00
The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III 2023 UK £5 Brilliant Uncirculated Coin • Unlimited • £14.50
UK23KCPF Add to Basket The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III 2023 UK £5 Silver Proof Coin • 12,500 • £95.00
UK23KCSP Add to Basket The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III 2023 UK £5 Silver Proof Piedfort Coin • 3,250 • £180.00
UK23KCS1 Add to Basket The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III 2023 UK 1oz Silver Proof Coin • 17,500 • £99.50
UK23KCS1K Add to Basket The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III 2023 UK 1kg Silver Proof Coin • 200 • £2,390.00
UK23KC40G Add to Basket The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III 2023 UK 1/40th oz Gold Proof Coin • 2,023 • £85.00
UK23KCGQ Add to Basket The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III 2023 UK 1/4oz Gold Proof Coin • 1,250 • £750.00
UK23KCG2 Add to Basket The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III 2023 UK 2oz Gold Proof Coin • 300 • £5,305.00
UK23KCG5 Add to Basket The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III 2023 UK 5oz Gold Proof Coin • 100 • £12,725.00
UK23KCGKM Add to Basket The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III 2023 UK 1kg Gold Proof Coin • 15 • £77,565.00
UK23KSOTD The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III 2023 Celebration Sovereign Struck on 6 May 2023